This very interesting name is English. It is a dialectual tease being the recognised pronunciation for the town in the county of Yorkshire called Pontefract, and from whence originate the famous "Pomfret Cakes" - a black liquorice sweet. There are several modern spellings including Pomfret, Pomfritt, Pomphrett and Pontefract. Amongst the early recordings are those of William Puntfreit of Essex in 1191, and Robert Pumfret of Norfolk in 1273. However spelt this is a good examples of a locational surname, being one that was given to a former inhabitant of a particular place, who had moved to another area. There he or sometimes she, was given the name of their former home as easy identification. Spelling being at best erratic and dialects very thick lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. The place name and hence the surname derives from the Roman (Latin) words ponto fracto meaning "broken bridge", and amongst other early recordings was that of Thomas le Lange de Pontefracto. This was dated 1310, in the register of the "Freeman of York" during the reign of King Edward 11nd of England, 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Pomfret — Pom fret, n. [Perhaps corrupt. fr. Pg. pampano a kind of fish.] (Zo[ o]l.) (a) One of two or more species of marine food fishes of the genus {Stromateus} ({Stromateus niger}, {Stromateus argenteus}) native of Southern Europe and Asia. (b) A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pomfret — Pomfret, John, Volksdichter, geb. 1677 zu Luton in Bedfordshire; Pfarrer zu Malden in Bedfordshire, st. das. 1703; Gedichte, Lond. 1699, n.A. 1766 …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • pomfret — [päm′frət, pum′frət] n. any of a family (Bramidae) of edible, marine percoid fishes …   English World dictionary

  • Pomfret — This article is about pomfret fish. For other uses, see Pomfret (disambiguation). Pomfret Atlantic Pomfret, Brama brama Scientific classification Kingdo …   Wikipedia

  • Pomfret — Der Begriff Pomfret ist mehrdeutig und kann folgende Bedeutungen haben: Ein Ort in England Pomfret Castle, in dem Richard II. von England zu Tode kam Der Name mehrerer Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Pomfret (Connecticut) Pomfret (Maryland)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • pomfret — /pom frit, pum /, n., pl. (esp. collectively) pomfret, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) pomfrets. 1. any of several scombroid fishes of the family Bramidae, found in the North Atlantic and Pacific. 2. any of several East Indian… …   Universalium

  • pomfret — /ˈpɒmfrət/ (say pomfruht) noun (plural pomfret or pomfrets) any food fish of the Pampus species, found in the Indian and Pacific oceans. {? diminutive of Portuguese pampo} Usage: For variation in the plural inflection, see note at fish1 …   Australian English dictionary

  • pomfret — noun Etymology: alteration of earlier pamflet, probably from French pample, from Portuguese pampo Date: 1813 1. any of a family (Bramidae) of usually deep bodied spiny finned oceanic fishes some of which are used for food 2. a silvery deep bodied …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pomfret — noun a type of fish of family Bramidae …   Wiktionary

  • pomfret — [ pɒmfrɪt] noun an edible deep bodied sea fish. [Brama brama and other species, family Bramidae.] Origin C18: appar. from Port. pampo …   English new terms dictionary

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